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Real Estate - Commercial

Builder Buys More Sea Trail Property, Including Hotel Site, Convention Center

By Johanna F. Still, posted Mar 16, 2023
The Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center sold earlier this month. (Photo by Jenny Callison)
Earlier this month, a subsidiary of Riptide Builders purchased land from a China-based company, picking up the Sea Trail Convention Center in Sunset Beach. 

Sea Trail Investments LLC bought about 22.1 acres from Chinaway Corporate Development LLC on March 3 in a nearly $2.5 million deal, county records show. 

The purchase includes the nearly 31,600-square-foot Sea Trail Golf Resort & Convention Center and parking lot, built in 1999, according to county records. It also encompasses an adjacent 15.1-acre undeveloped lot and the nearby 10,150-square-foot Sea Trail Village Activity Center, built in 1997.

The activity center is a private, fee-based clubhouse and amenity center open to the public, according to a press release. The vacant lot next door to the convention center will be developed into a 150-room resort-style hotel, a practice and entertainment facility and driving range “featuring top tracer technology for the avid golfer,” the release states. 

Riptide Builders purchased the remaining undeveloped land in Sea Trail, a once-abandoned golf community, in July 2020. Chinaway continues to own and maintain the golf courses. 

“Over the past year, we have pumped over $50 million into revitalizing Sea Trail, and that investment will continue with the acquisition of the convention center, future hotel site and activity center,” Donald Bean, co-owner of Riptide Builders, said in the release. “After sitting dormant for several years, the convention center will receive an overhaul of all major components of the facility as well as major upgrades to the parking lots, outdoor reception areas, lighting, and signage. These improvements will optimize the convention center’s potential to be a source of pride for Sea Trail and an economic engine for Sunset Beach.”

Riptide and the Sea Trail Master Association have upgraded the community since the 2020 acquisition, including remodeling the Maples Activity Center and Sea Trail entry wall and making various infrastructure enhancements. Work is underway to renovate the “pink palace,” the community’s largest pool and pool deck, which includes the addition of an in-ground spa, overhauled pool and more, according to the release. 

Construction is weeks away from completion at Byrd Watch, a new 49-lot single-family home subdivision, and work on the 88-unit luxury project, The Townhomes on Eastwood Bluff, is more than halfway finished. A 27-unit townhome project, Sawmill Townhomes, will begin later this month, and the 93-unit single-family development Gulls Landing will begin in April. Another single-family home development, Pelican Reserve, is also being planned.

Parker Smith, the owner of Golf Trek, the largest area provider of golf packages in Myrtle Beach, is also a co-owner of Sea Trail Investments. Golf Trek is now operating the recently acquired amenity center in Sea Trail, which includes the restaurant House’s Place at the Beach. 

“The entire Sea Trail Golf Resort has an amazing future thanks to our partnership with Riptide Builders and the cooperation of the town of Sunset Beach,” Smith said. 

For more about growth issues in southern Brunswick County, read the March 17 issue of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, which includes a special editorial section on Brunswick County.
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